Would You Date a Vegetarian or Vegan?
Photo Credit: Veer
Quick, picture a bunch of vegans.
Chances are, the stereotype you just conjured wasn’t of a gaggle of strapping gents with bulging biceps. But then, you probably haven’t met the six vegans NPR’s “All Things Considered” interviewed this week—among them a bodybuilder, a triathlete, and a mixed-martial arts fighter—who got together to barbecue beet burgers and prove that it’s more masculine to protect the planet and its animals than to destroy them.
While they’re all proud to have gone vegan, the men all agree on one thing: They’ve been made to feel “unmanly” for doing it.
Nowadays, 5 percent of the population is vegetarian, 2 percent is vegan, and one can both order a veggie burger at Burger King and shell out $100 for a vegetarian tasting menu. But as meat-free food options have increased, can the same be said of carnivores’ acceptance of meat-free people?
Those who choose to cut meat out of their lives are often doing it for admirable reasons: to save animals, lessen environmental footprints, and improve their health. But many carnivores simply can’t get past the notion of not being able to share a filet mignon by candlelight at a fancy steakhouse, or the snooze-worthy prospect of cooking meatless meals every evening.
And you? Would you date a vegetarian?
We posed the question on the Yahoo Food Facebook page, where responses were mixed. Some wouldn’t give it a second thought:
“Yes, everyone is entitled to live their lives,” writes Miami’s Fonda Frost.
“Been married to one for 40 years. What’s your point?" asks Beverly Moraca of Glassboro, N.J.
Others wouldn’t even consider it:
“No, I love to cook,” writes Joyce Spriggle of Lewistown, Penn., “but need to cook more than just veggies!”
Still others have a live-and-let-eat philosophy: tempeh and T-bones peacefully co-existing, if you will.
“Yes,” commented Johnnie Rhodes of Orlando, Fla., “as long as they don’t mind watching me tear into a big porterhouse.”
Some have tried and failed: Rachel O., a grad student in Chicago, tells us that though she dated a vegetarian for a few months, she wouldn’t do it again. Ever. “It limited where we could go out to eat or what we would eat when we cooked together,” she recalls. “He would get annoyed if I got something with meat in it because he couldn’t share with me and he ‘had to make out with me’ so I would have to brush my teeth. It all made me feel very guilty.”
Despite penning a book titled The Shameless Carnivore, author Scott Gold told us he would indeed date a vegetarian … with a few conditions. “It wouldn’t be easy and she would have to be completely awesome in almost every other way.” Entering into a relationship with a vegan, however, is a sacrifice he simply won’t make. “No way. Never…butter and cheese are entirely too important to me. They are a fundamental part of my existence. Give me dairy or give me death.”
Gold isn’t the only one who draws the line at vegans.
"I would be very hesitant to date a vegan, but [it] has more to do with being suspicious of someone who’s elected to restrict [his] own realm of pleasure that much,” writes Kris W., editor, of Boston, Mass. “Celiacs can add a level of complication to dating, but it’s not a choice they’re making. With vegans, they’re choosing (unless I guess they have a medical reason) to shut themselves off from all kinds of delights, and to make every dining experience kind of a pain in the a(*&(.”